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Jealousy And Insecurity From A Previous Relationship Is Interfering...

Okay, "an innocent man" is a bit over-the-top, but I'm a Billy Joel fan and the song lyrics fit my problem.

Basically I have a girlfriend (together over 9 months) who has some insecurity and jealousy issues from a previous relationship. This issue reared its ugly head in December when a friend of my girlfriend was looking at photos of my kids on my Facebook page. My girlfriend hates Facebook (another residual from her previous relationship) and was looking for something to get upset about (I did not know this at the time). She all of a sudden turned cold toward me and we all went to dinner together. I took her aside to ask what was wrong and she just started sternly telling me that I was "such a liar" and was saying things like, "You KNOW what I'm upset about".

She finally explained that she saw a "glamour" photo of some woman on my Facebook page (there was NO such photo) and that she was embarrassed in front of her friend. She was a totally different person the rest of the night and late, late that night (circa 2am) started to calm down. I showed her my Facebook page and photos again and asked her to point out the photo she saw. It wasn't there. My guess is that she saw an ad (she's not computer savvy in the least) or a photo on her friend's page and assumed the worst.

That was the beginning of it all. Since then, she has freaked out on me for not returning a text message fast enough, her getting my voice mail, her calling and I'm at a gas station ("Why are you at a gas station? You said you would be at home!"), me taking a business call (I'm self-employed) during business hours on a week day...the list goes on and on.

We have been going to a counselor for a few weeks now and the counselor is very aware that my girlfriend has previous relationship trust issues. Last week the therapist asked why she doesn't trust me. The answer was, "because he's male". Great.

The therapist told my girlfriend that the bottom line is that if either of us is going to cheat, we are going to cheat. She said that the best way to deal with it is to have a pact together that if either of us is in a place where we feel that we need/want to go outside the relationship that we give the other the courtesy of letting them know before we act. Totally fine by me - neither of us is the cheating type (I've been cheated on by a spouse). She agreed.

I want to also point out that my girlfriend has a very simple, non-complicated lifestyle. She has one child (he's 16), a simple job where she gets calls from clients, shows up and does her work and goes home (she's a hair stylist) and she has only a handful of friends. I'm a bit more complicated. I'm very ADD, I operate four different small businesses, I have five kids (one is a 5 year old girl) and (this one drives her nuts) I'm the lead singer in a popular local rock/r&b band. She's NOT used to being with someone who has lots of friends (male and female), clients calling all day, text messages, etc.

Once I discovered in December how bad her jealousy/trust thing was, I did stop talking to TOTALLY PLATONIC friendships with women with whom I occasionally spoke to. I am totally focused on my girlfriend, our kids, my businesses and that's it, but it just keeps getting crazy. She gets upset if I'm just chatting with her about nothing important and a client calls that I have to speak to. This is during business hours, mind you.

So, last night something happened and I'd like feedback on how I reacted. I am not here to profess my innocence, regardless of the title of the experience room. Yesterday I got a Facebook message from some woman that claimed to have gone to high school with me. I'm not saying she didn't, but I don't remember her. I sent her a message back telling her that I didn't remember her name and that since she didn't have a photo on her profile (she had just signed up for Facebook), I couldn't be sure. That was it. We had over a dozen or so mutual friends from high school on Facebook, so I added her when she sent a friend request. No biggie.

Well, I have my cell phone number in my Facebook profile (I've since deleted it) and WHILE I'M SITTING WITH MY GIRLFRIEND, a text from an unknown cell phone comes through. I pick my phone up (my girlfriend's eyes are ON me) and see that this dumb girl texts me a photo of her!!!! Of course I PANIC in my head but try and play it off. I've done nothing wrong, but I know my girlfriend and there is NO WAY OUT OF THIS for me and I freakin' know it. So in a moment of panic, I totally lied to her and said it was from a guy on Facebook. She asked to see it and I freaked out and "accidentally" deleted the text. I told her that I "accidentally" deleted the text and of course she didn't believe me and now we are in a full on argument and she calls me a liar (which I understand is technically correct in this circumstance) and how she can't trust me, etc., etc.

I HATE that I have that reaction, but she's so ON ME about things that are simply not real and not a threat to our relationship that when something comes up like this, I panic. I suppose you would have to have gone through some of these scenarios to understand why I panic (it's not some drama panic, by the way, it's just a moment of "great. there is NO way to explain this one and I DON'T want to ruin our evening"). Once I had my phone plugged into my computer and for some reason my girlfriend's text didn't alert me. I was expecting her call at 10pm, so at 10:20 I called her. She freaked on me - "Where were you? I texted you and you didn't respond. Is somebody there? What's going on? I can't be in a relationship like this..." It went on and on. She just went into a tailspin.

So, that's enough info for now. Any questions or suggestions? Should I have been straight with her last night and taken the expected "I KNEW you were doing something. There's more to this story you're not telling me.", etc.?
SpringForward2k8 SpringForward2k8 41-45, M 11 Responses Jul 23, 2010

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Yep, I have absolutely zero regrets for ending that relationship. Not only for my own good, but for hers as well. There was no way that was going to get better and it's better that we cut our losses and moved on.<br />
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That experience certainly helped me gain yet another perspective and has helped me tremendously. Not only the experience of dealing with jealousy, but also I learned a lot about myself with regard to what I am willing to put up with, what a good relationship should be and I learned that I will no longer tolerate crap in my life that is someone else's.<br />
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As I mentioned in my last post here (almost exactly a year ago), I re-met a girl I went to high school with and we are now engaged. I can honestly say that I am happier than I have ever been as an adult. Not because of some pie-in-the-sky relationship with zero problems - far from it. It's because I finally have a REAL relationship where we both take accountability and both of us call each other out on our **** (and more importantly, we are open to the other calling us out on our ****...LOL).<br />
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Life is good and that relationship experience helped me to get here.

I"m glad you figured out that she was not the girl for you!

@ Bluebie:<br />
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You are absolutely right. I recently re-met a girl I knew in high school and we've been dating for a couple of months now. She keeps catching me over-explaining myself and she calls me "shell shocked" because of the previous relationship. She told me, "You don't have to explain everything, I trust you. Don't worry about it." Wow. Very different vibe. I'm way more relaxed now and not worried that I'm upsetting anyone just being who I am.<br />
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Very glad that I got out when I did. I gave it my best shot, but it's ultimately her issue and I also hope that she gets her head right for her own sake.<br />
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Thanks...

Thanks for posting your story. I have been on both sides of this issue, and I must say, jealousy is much more about the person who is jealous than it is about anything anyone says or does. I hope your ex girlfriend gets her head right, because she will not be able to have a healthy relationship until she does.

KissAngel007,<br />
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Unfortunately I kept trying after that incident in August. It didn't last long, though. Ended it in early October. Haven't seen her in three months. Sorry that you ended up marrying that person - I truly believe that if I hadn't gone through my divorce and all that it took out of me, I might have married this girlfriend and I'd be in your shoes.<br />
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Luckily I had the presence of mind to stop it. And yes, she was pushing for a ring. Even said to me a week or so ago via text message that "even with all of our problems, I'd marry you tomorrow". YIKES!<br />
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ShoriesSecret,<br />
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Thanks for the post. Actually, you are 100% correct (as a few other posters were). I ended the relationship several months ago and couldn't be happier. Such a huge amount of stress was lifted off my shoulders after she moved out.<br />
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In the last few months, she had come to my house and gone through my garbage, receipts, dresser drawers, etc. to find "dirt" on me as it pertains to seeing other women, she went through my mailbox and angrily accused me of seeing someone because they sent me a generic Xmas card. Craziness.<br />
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She was still trying to get back with me as recently as this past week, but I finally had to come out and tell her (yet again) that it will never work out and to move on. Didn't go over well. I did love her for who she was, but the fear-ba<x>sed behaviors were WAY too much for me.<br />
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I recently reconnected with a girl I knew in high school and she noticed right off the bat that I am shell-shocked. I kept trying to over-explain to her who people are in my life and why I talk to them, etc. She said, "Hey, you don't have to explain yourself to me. I trust you." WOW, what a concept, huh? Very, very refreshing, to say the least.

It's good that you got out when you did. I married "that" person. I heard a person say once that the best part of a relationship is in the beginning, that it never gets better than that. I wish I would of known that then. We did nothing but fight. But I do have 2 beautiful kids from him, so I keep going because of them.

Another Follow Up: Apparently this relationship is over. She had another episode on Sunday and this time it was because she felt as if she was slighted by my brother and sister-in-law at a picnic. She was acting very standoffish and even I was not wanting to approach her. When I did and simply asked if she was okay, she barked at me. It got worse from there.<br />
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Afterward she told me that my family was "psycho" and she would never get together with them again. I told her to pack her things and move out. I haven't seen her since and she texted me that she would be getting her things on Thursday. Ironically, I feel an overwhelming sense of relief, not sadness.<br />
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I've been overrun by jealousy and insecurity to the point where I was walking on egg shells around her every moment. I'm so relieved to not have my life under such conditions. If not for the jealousy and insecurity issues, she is a great woman and I do love her, but it was just way, way too much for me to handle moving forward.

Follow Up: I told her the truth at the therapist's office and I could see that she was fuming. The evening went to hell and it was clear that - even though I wish I didn't have to - it was a good call waiting a week to talk to her about it. In the moment when I got that text, she would have lost her mind.<br />
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Since then, she calmed down, but over the weekend new things came up and I'm just done. I need to get out of this relationship and fast...for my sanity. I told her last night and I hope that she takes it seriously.

Tekkamaki: Thank you for your oh-so-subtle opinion. LOL And yes, you are suuuuuuper glamorous.<br />
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JasJ: Thanks for the best wishes.<br />
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I've decided to tell her about what happened, but only in front of the therapist (on Tuesday). She's a bit tweaked by that ("Why can't we discuss it together? Why do we need to do it in front of the therapist?"), but I'm holding my ground. I have assured her that there's nothing bad and there's nothing to dread and that it's the reactions to things and my reactions anticipating HER reactions that we are going to discuss at the therapist office.

And lol, the Billy Joel song popped in my head too. : P

Wow. That therapist is terrible! Instead of being so reactionary and "well you screw up, you screw up." I really think your girlfriend (who is very pretty btw!) should look at who you are instead of what everyone else did. It's not fair to you...and mostly she is torturing herself...and being a pain about the whole thing honestly The seed of doubt is planted and now it's spreading like a field of ugly weeds. : (<br />
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I don't know, it sounds really bad. Either you guys got to trust each other or it's really not worth the headaches. And over facebook, really now. That's all she's got against you? A social networking site made up of mostly family and old high school buddies? She's a very pretty woman who obviously cannot see herself clearly in the mirror that she makes up delusions about other women she's never met with no proof that you are even cheating.<br />
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And...was it me...because you know I'm suuuuuper glamorous. Ha ha ha! Just messing with you!